- September 21, 2015 at 7:41 am #5968Maria T. GriecoParticipant
Hi! I am a pianist and music teacher (also singer and recorder player).I was curious about melodicas but always thought they were just teaching tools. In December 2013 I participated in the “Harmonaboard Parade” with Jon Batiste for Make Music NY Winter. Horner provided the first 25 people to sign up with a free melodica if you didn’t have one. I jumped at the chance. They gave us the Instructor 32 in its nice canvas case with the flex tube mouthpiece -but no short mouthpiece! Why? It’s annoying. I tried to see if I could get one but the only source I came up with (don’t remember what that was) quoted a ridiculously high price. Anyway, just weeks later I received an email from MMNY asking if any of us “Harmonaboard Parade” participants were interested in playing with Jon Batiste for guests waiting on line at Gracie Mansion for Mayor deBlasio’s open house. We’d have a group photo with the mayor, too. So, yes, I went. (We ended up getting individual photos with the mayor.) It was fun and musical. I then looked into getting a better melodica, something more professional, and found the melodicas.com website. I didn’t find myself encouraged to buy anything. I let the idea go. Recently I found myself searching once again online for melodicas, possibly inspired by seeing Jon Batiste on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and I found Melodicaworld! Thank you! What a great site. After reading it for days I decided to get the Suzuki M37C. I searched around, ended up getting it on eBay. I also checked out vintage Hohners on eBay and bought a 1970’s Hohner Piano 32 made in Germany. Later on, after more reading I bought a Yamaha P25F on Amazon. I like its small size and cuteness. I was tempted by the Hammonds but, let’s face it, size, weight, and price(!) made it a cumbersome choice.
The eBay seller of the vintage Hohner shipped it within hours of my purchase. The Amazon seller of the Yamaha shipped it the next day. Both melodicas will arrive TODAY, Monday September 21st!! I also just received an email that the seller of the Suzuki has shipped the M37C, it’s due next week.
In deciding on a 37-key pro melodica, your descriptions of the 3 contenders helped me choose. I also like the gig bag that comes with the M37C, it has handles and a shoulder strap. For something that size I find both helpful. Then, today I see it seems Suzuki has a new one out, the M37C-plus. Oy! Look forward to future discussions of that one! I’m curious too about the gooseneck, wonder if it would fit their other melodicas and if they will sell it separately.
I expect to have a very melodica day today!September 21, 2015 at 10:22 am #5970Daren BanarsëKeymaster
Hi Maria, welcome to the World of Melodicas!
Really glad you’ve found the website useful – looks like you’ve got some fun ahead 🙂 Let us know what you think of your new instruments…September 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm #5972Alan BrintonParticipant
Welcome, Maria. It’s exciting to hear your enthusiasm for the melodica. Good selection of models. The Hammond 44 mouthpiece is a Suzuki part and is available from Japan from Rakuten Global for about $21 plus shipping (probably $10-12). It’s worth it. It fits all the other current and recent Suzuki Melodions.
I’m pretty sure this cheap mouthpiece would fit your Hohner:September 21, 2015 at 6:39 pm #5973Maria T. GriecoParticipant
I had a feeling Daren and Alan would be the first people to reply to my post. 🙂 Thanks, guys! Extra thanks to Alan for your mouthpiece tips. I’ll keep you posted.October 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm #6008
Hi guys! I too am a newbie to the world of melodicas. I was inspired after seeing Jon Batiste on Colbert. I saw the instrument and thought “What the hell is that?” but it looked like he was having so much fun playing it, I had to have one. Your site has been invaluable in helping me choose my first melodica – actually a pianica, the Yamaha P37D. It should arrive today just in time for my birthday! I also am looking for a vintage Hohner, preferably a Piano 32. I have a question though, are the ones produced in the Czech Republic as well made as the ones made in Germany? Any advice would be so appreciated. Again, love the site and hope to make some like-minded friends.October 10, 2015 at 7:48 pm #6009Alan BrintonParticipant
I bought a Piano 32 and several of the same series Piano 26 (all new) from the Hohner Shop in the U.S. while they were still selling them. One of the Piano 26 had “Made in the Czech Republic” on the cardboard box, which has puzzled me, since I have seen no mention of Hohner Melodicas being made there. It is identical to the ones that were made in Germany. So I’m guessing that the same would be true for the HM-32.
The HM-32 was in production for a long time, from around 1980 (?) until 2011. I have an old one (maybe 2 of them) as well as the new one. There does not appear to be a significant difference in design from the older to the newer ones, same with the HM-26. But the older ones are not as air tight. Whether they started out this way or not I have no idea. Another thing about these models: pricing is all over the map. I see some “new, old stock” for around $200, and some on eBay for under $50. The person on here who really knows these models and fully appreciates their distinctive character is Lowboy. If you have trouble finding one, try the Members’ Trade and Swap forum here.
And Happy Birthday! Does this mean you can buy a drink now?October 10, 2015 at 9:02 pm #6010
Thanks Alan! That was really helpful. And I agree, the pricing is all over the place on sites like Ebay. And you are very kind – I indeed am able to buy a drink now! LOL. Take care.October 11, 2015 at 11:00 am #6013LowboyParticipant
Welcome. I have been playing the Hohner Piano 26/27/32 series of melodicas almost exclusively for two years. I would be embarrassed to tell you how many I have. Obviously, I think they are special. I have old ones and new ones; red ones, blue ones, and yellow ones. I have some cassotto models. I have purchased these various models from around the world.
I play them in my acoustic trio, and my trio has been performing a lot lately (about 5 times a month for last few months), so I am getting some stage experience and lots of practice time with them. I have learned a lot about these models in the last two years, but the learning curve remains high, particularly in getting the sound I want in a live performance.
Here is what I think about the difference between some of these models.
Some models are labeled “Made in Germany” on the front and some are not. I assume the ones made in Germany are older than the ones not labeled “made in Germany.” Generally speaking, I like the ones made in Germany over the ones that are not made in Germany. However, sometimes it seems the difference between any two of these melodicas of the same model from the same source is greater than any perceived difference between the German-manufactured ones and the non-German-manufactured ones.
German-made models tend to have the metal pushbutton water valve while the newer ones have the rubber strip that covers the water drain hole. Though not always. The pushbutton arrangement is easier to use but harder to service.
In spite of all my experience with these melodicas, I have not definitively sorted out your question, thought it has been a big question for me as well for two years.
What is the difference based on the experience and intuition that I have today? I sometimes (repeat sometimes) perceive the German-made models to flow air better, sound a bit louder, have a richer tone, and to be more durable. Maybe it is all psychological. Maybe it is the often erroneously-perceived belief that older things are better than new things. Maybe it is the perception that products from Germany are best. Maybe it is variation in the playing environments. In any case, given the choice between two melodicas, I would take an older German-made model over a newer model not made in Germany.
I would stress that the differences are subtle and only someone intimately familiar with these melodicas might be able to tell the difference. And once again, I often find the variation between, say two models made in Germany, to be as great as any perceived difference between models made in difference lands.
So if someone were buying their first Hohner Piano 26/27/32, I don’t think it would matter where the melodica was made. I would look for one in good condition one that does not leak. Later, after developing a taste for these melodicas, a person could be more discriminating.
I think there is a difference. I think the German-made models on the whole are better, but I have not fully convinced myself yet through the application of the scientific method. That study is on my “to do” list.
LowboyOctober 13, 2015 at 2:19 am #6018
Wow, Lowboy, that was a wonderful discussion of “all things melodicas and vintage”. Thank you so much. This is really helpful as I go about acquiring my collection! I got my Yamaha P37D on Saturday and have been having so much fun figuring it out. Because of the size of the keyboard, I am thinking now that getting a smaller model like a 26 or 27 vintage Hohner would be fun for my next so I will keep drooling over those 32 and 36 for a while yet before plunging in. Again, thank you so much for taking your time to share your wisdom. Makes me feel better as I try to sort this all out! 🙂October 17, 2015 at 4:00 am #6046
Is the Hammond 44 series the only ones to offer a built in mic? I’ve got a 37 key but use a contact mic.Does any other model offer a built in mic?October 17, 2015 at 4:26 am #6047Melodica-MeParticipant
Hello Paul, Hammond (Suzuki) also has a bass melodeon and a soprono melodeon with a built in pick up. The only other model out there is the Excalibur but in my personal opinion it is not very good. I purchased one and returned it a few years ago. Depending where the sound comes out of your melodica I would recommend a Myers pickup works great and has a volume control. You can get them on eBay or go to Myerco.com they have a nice new one with 3 microphones. The Hammonds are great I own all all of them and use them the most of all my melodicas.
Monsters of MelodicaOctober 17, 2015 at 4:40 am #6048
Thanks for that info , I guess I was trying to put off the 44 keys and the extra dosh ! Will check out Myers Mic , but somehow I think the Hammond might be a next yrs xmas pressy for me..I really need to practice with what Ive got ( m37c) and learn to walk before I run. That’s interesting about the soprano.. Id probably miss the low and mid notes. Appreciate your help.October 17, 2015 at 4:46 am #6049
Just read your endorsement,Oscar , on their page , sounds the ticket.. I will e bay that.
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